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Dino-tastic Visit for Year 1 to the Oxford Museum of Natural History - March 2018

What a fabulous day the Year 1s had!  It all began with Chris - our fantastic scientist who made our learning interactive, enjoyable, hands on and very fun!  We smelt dinosaur poo, touched a T-Rex tooth and stroked the skin of a dinosaur.  We learnt even more than we already knew about dinosaurs.  We then found it really interesting to walk around the museum spotting skeletons of well known mammals such as elephants, reindeers and giraffes!  They were amazing!  Take a look below at some great photos...

Middle Phase go to Cadbury World!

On Wednesday 7th February Middle Phase travelled to Birmingham to visit Cadbury World as a part of our Scrumdillyumptious topic.  Upon arrival, we were transported back 1000 years to Mexico, where we walked through the tropical rainforest of the Mayan Indians, discovering the origins of the cocoa bean, the first chocolate drink, and how the cocoa bean found its way to Europe.  As we continued our walk through the factory the children saw a full sized replica of John Cadbury’s first shop in 1824 and listened to an interactive performance from John Cadbury himself!

Before long, the moment we had all waited for arrived- the chocolate tasting,   but not before Mrs Cull took to the factory microphone and shared with everyone the delicious toppings available!  Whist munching our chocolate treats, we were able to see the factory workers mould and decorate chocolate and watch a live demonstration.  Next was the Cadabra ride, where we travelled in ‘Beanmobiles’ and saw coca beans having fun around the world!

Our afternoon activities included a trip into the 4D cinema where we dived into a bowl of liquid Cadbury Dairy Milk, rode the Crunchie Rollercoaster and took to the skies in a Cadbury Creme Egg airship piloted by the Caramel Bunny!   Finally, we listened to a talk about packaging and marketing chocolate; this linked in perfectly with the work the children have been doing in school whilst designing and making their own chocolate treats!

We all had the most amazing day- this will certainly be a trip that we will remember for a very long time.

Robots visit St Mary's as part of their Robotic Computing topic - February 2018

The Spring Term has seen Upper Phase pupils involved in investigating and discovering a range of exciting topics, from technology as it is now and how it will mould the future and finding out about and evaluating the exciting but tragic mission led by Robert Falcon Scott to reach the South Pole in 1912.  Engineers brought the You-Me robot into school and were guided through how the Robot was calibrated, used in sensors, programmed and activated to complete writing tasks.  Scratch was used as an initial start for sequencing algorithms. Children are progressing to use basic HTML to code their own web pages creating titles, simple text, pictures and including links to other websites.

A Robot Workshop visited the school bringing a huge array of robots for the children to experience, programme and use. Children experienced programming Ozobots, Cubelet robots and in class started investigating the building of automatons to move robots and researched different types of sensors used by robots to investigate the world around them.   At the start of Term 4 children went straight into discovering about the Frozen Poles of the Earth, the Arctic and Antarctic and began with a visit to the amazing Wilson museum in Cheltenham, the building which holds many artefacts from Scott’s ill-fated mission to reach the South Pole in 1912.

Children took part in role play, investigation into artefacts and input from museum guides and in the footsteps of Edward Wilson(Scott’s friend and companion on the mission), painted their own watercolour interpretations of the arctic landscape.

Summer Breeze Arts Project - January 2018

What better way to celebrate the New Year than to make a change!  We were very fortunate once again to welcome No Added Sugar into school to complete the second part of our arts project.  The Summer Breeze wall mural, below, was created by our Year 2 and Year 5 pupils.  The corridor was cordoned off, music played and what a wonderful sight to see the children letting their creativity flow to create an amazing display of floral delight.

Year 1 trip to the Tower of London - November 2017

After quite a long (but full of sight seeing) bus journey - we finally arrived at the Tower of London and what a fantastic day it was!  The sun was shining and the children were amazing!  So much so we didn't need to put them on the torturous 'racks'!  We saw the Crown Jewels, a grumpy Beefeater, Balck Ravens (one of which was called Erin) as well as visiting the torture chambers, the place where King Henry VIII's three wives were beheaded before a walk along the periphery of the Tower.  The children were a credit to St Mary's and loved every minute.  Take a look at a selection of photographs below.  The rest are uploaded to our secure platform.

Our Story Telling Throne - 15th November 2017

This Week, we were extremely lucky to have Richard Barry of Learning Through Landscapes visiting our school as part of an outdoor project run through the John Laing Trust. Children from Wayland Smithy took part in this exciting opportunity and, after two days of digging, sawing, sanding and drilling, they successfully constructed a fabulous Story Telling Throne for St Mary’s Haven. We are all very excited to try out our new ‘throne’ and will soon be making the most of this very special and peaceful area of our shool.

Swindon Youth Festival of Literature - 9th November 2017

The Year 6’s were kindly invited to St Joseph’s on Thursday the 9th of November for the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature. We were lucky enough to meet the authors Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore (The Two Steve’s). They introduced us to their amazing characters, creative landscapes and funny storylines. They even allowed a few of us up on stage to join in with their silly antics! Testing their ‘I-Hero’ books, we all became Vikings and brought the stories alive. We had a fantastic time, and cannot wait to sink our teeth into their new book! A great morning had by us all. 

We have received some very good feedback from the Festival : "Well done to the St Mary's 'Superhero', he certainly has acting ability! The children were fantastic!"  The Two Steves were incredibly impressed with how far you had walked to come and see them - Steve Skidmore said, "I wouldn't have walked for 50 minutes to see us!!"

Upper Phase engage in Darwin's Delights - 31st October 2017

This week, as part of our new topic – Darwin’s Delights - Upper Phase visited the Oxford Natural History Museum and were lucky enough to take part in an Evolve, Adapt, Survive, workshop given by one of the museum’s very own experts. Handling real specimens such as elephant teeth and polar bear paws to huge python skins and gliding lizards, children explored how animals have evolved and adapted to survive in their particular habitats. We heard about Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace’s work on natural selection and examined some of the fossil evidence that reveals the history of life on our planet. After the workshop, children borrowed the Museum's ipads to complete the Sensing Evolution trail with the celebrated wildlife presenter, Steve Backshall, as their guide. A great day was had by all!

Art Week - October 2017

As part of Art Week, we invited Toni and Gordon from 'No Added Sugar' into our school to work with the children on a very special project.  They inspired us with their creativity, consultation, engagement, inclusion, involvement and fun to develop talent and celebrate art by creating a wonderful display of hand painted butterflies that frame our mission statement beautifully.  Take a look at the photographs below to see how much we enjoyed ourselves.  If you would like to learn more about Toni and Gordon / No Added Sugar then please click here to visit their website. To see the mounted butterflies, then either come into school to view them, alternatively, you can see them on the homepage of our website.

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